Businesses are now becoming much more active when it comes to hiring and this is because, as James Caan believes, people are the lifeblood of any and every business. The better quality of people you get on board, the more chance there is your business will thrive – his phrase for this is ‘talent attraction’.
James’ philosophy is not to match the person you are recruiting to a particular job, but the other way around. If the person has skills, passion and drive, then James believes that’s what is important. He knows there will be somewhere in the company that this person will be able to excel, thereby adding value to the business.
Here are his top 10 tips for making the most of the recruitment process and attracting the best new talent to your team.

1. Hire first, job second
If you find someone who is a ‘good fit’ for your company, create a role for them. Don’t get stuck in a routine and hire only when you have a vacancy. Keep the business fresh by doing things the other way around. The best businesses recruit people, rather than aiming to fill a specific post, so create a position for talented potential employees whenever practical.

2. Team recruit
Look at who does the hiring in your organisation and think about getting a dedicated team or individual to find talent. You may be put off by the cost, but if it’s currently down to someone who’s juggling many roles, you’ll end up with better quality staff by hiring in-house or through an agency.

3. Big up your culture
If you are an SME, don’t worry about losing out on talent to corporate firms. The entrepreneurial culture of the business is a big selling point for attracting talent. Make sure this comes across in any job adverts.

4. Rewards and benefits
Make a good proposition to future candidates and let them know what you stand for as a company. How do you reward them and what’s their work-life balance like? Be clear about what your brand represents: this isn’t just what you tell your customers, but what you tell your staff.

5. A slice of the action
A lot of businesses fret about how they can compete for the best talent against corporate firms that can afford to offer higher salaries. In fact there are ways to get potential recruits on your side. Offering them shares in the business is a great idea – see this as a motivator for them to produce even better results for your business, not as a loss of control.

6. Network nous
The more people that network, the more your business’s reputation will get enhanced across the industry. Senior managers who search for new staff should always be making new connections and attending events. Offer referral incentives so that all your employees are encouraged to network.

7. Straight to the top
Appeal to the young and ambitious with the ability to offer employees a closer relationship with the people at the top. A junior employee could find him or herself working with the managing director, for example, and that would give them the opportunity to learn and build relationships within the company – a great selling point.

8. Meet the team
Avoid conducting the interview process in a one-to-one meeting in a private room. After all, your entrepreneurial culture is a big selling point. Show them around the office and introduce the candidate to some potential team members – this way they’ll get a real feel for the business.

9. The time is now
A lot of businesses have a 30-day window for applications and then invite all the appropriate applicants in for interviews. But the risk in this approach is that job seekers who applied very early on may have found somewhere else by that time. So the moment you see someone you like, get them in for a meeting.

10. Make it social
Sign up to LinkedIn to give yourself a great advantage in the hiring process. Social media platforms can add real value to your business and help make sure your vacancy is put in front of passive job-seekers: people who aren’t actively searching for a new role at that point. By being on their radar you might sow a profitable seed for the future.

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